The TV adaption of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, Normal People has taken the world by storm. People fell in love with the intimate and realistic portrayal of Connell and Marianne’ “normal” love story as they navigated through the ups and downs of life and the highs and lows of relationships. If you’re looking for a similar read, here are some books to read if you loved Normal People.
Conversations With Friends
If you loved Normal People and are looking for a similar book, the best place to start is with Sally Rooney’s first novel, Conversation With Friends.
Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind–and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Lovers at school, the two young women now perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin, where a journalist named Melissa spots their potential. Drawn into Melissa’s orbit, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband. Private property, Frances believes, is a cultural evil–and Nick, a bored actor who never quite lived up to his potential, looks like patriarchy made flesh. But however amusing their flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy neither of them expect.
15th July 1988: Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. The next day they must go their separate ways.
Each chapter covers their lives on one day, 15 July, St Swithin’s Day, for 20 years. A bit like Connell and Marianne, Emma and Dexter just can’t seem to get it together…
One Day was also adapted into a movie in 2011 starring Anne Hathaway.
The New York Times proclaimed Exciting Times to have “echoes of Sally Rooney, but with a queer twist”.
Based in Hong Kong, this sharp, witty and ultimately moving debut novel from Irish author, Naoise Dolan, explores a love triangle.
Newly arrived 22-year-old English teacher Ava finds herself caught between the financial security of a non-committal banker and an alluring lawyer. Dolan brings a fresh insight into modern love that will inevitably make this a hit among those who love Normal People.
‘The Flatshare’ by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy has nowhere to live. She wants to stay in London, the city she loves, but her budget is small and she desperately needs to get away from her controlling ex-boyfriend. Leon has a single bedroom flat but only needs the bed through the day, while Tiffy needs it at night. The pair strike up an agreement as flatmates who share a bed but have never met. Communicating through letters on the fridge, everything is going fine until they meet face to face.
‘A Love Story For Bewildered Girls’ by Emma Morgan
Grace, Annie, and Violet are all in love. They’re just not totally sure they’re with the person they’re supposed to be. When there’s so much emphasis on stability, finding the one, and running off into the sunset, it can make the ups-and-downs of real life even more complicated.
A Love Story For Bewildered Girls is about the mess and beauty of female friendships and first loves.
Are there any books that you loved that are similar to ‘Normal People’?